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Study: Mo. medical claim costs could rise sharply

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A new study says Missouri could see a 59 percent increase in the cost of medical claims for individual insurance policies under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The study by the Society of Actuaries says Missouri's projected cost increase would be the eighth highest among states. Nationally, it says claim costs could rise by an average of 32 percent per person in the individual health insurance market by 2017.

The cost of medical claims is a big driver of health insurance premiums.

The study assumes all states would expand Medicaid coverage under the federal health care law.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has been traveling around Missouri trying to build support for a Medicaid expansion. But Missouri's Republican-led Legislature has repeatedly rejected it while citing concerns about future costs.